SFP’s move from MVP halted

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT - An­dré Lowe Spe­cial Projects Ed­i­tor – Sports

SHELLY-ANN FRASER­PRYCE’S move away from the MVP Track and Field Club has re­port­edly col­lapsed af­ter her long-time kit spon­sor Nike, ac­cord­ing to our sources, threat­ened to pull the plug on their mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar deal. Fraser-Pryce had started her back­ground train­ing with Rey­naldo Wal­cott, who for sev­eral years have been a mem­ber of MVP’s tech­ni­cal team. Wal­cott is in the process of es­tab­lish­ing his own club, which will be based at St El­iz­a­beth Tech­ni­cal in Santa Cruz, with Nike ini­tially giv­ing their bless­ing to Fraser-Pryce’s move.

How­ever, The Gleaner un­der­stands that the Amer­i­can sports­wear gi­ant, which also spon­sors MVP, changed its po­si­tion af­ter Stephen Fran­cis, MVP’s head coach and Fraser-Pryce’s long-time con­di­tioner, ex­pressed his pref­er­ence that she re­mains with the Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy-based out­fit.


Nike re­port­edly then sug­gested that Fraser-Pryce ei­ther re­main at MVP or join an­other of their spon­sored groups, the Los An­ge­les-based Bobby Kersee out­fit, which in­cludes Amer­i­can star Allyson Felix.

Felix is Nike’s high­est-paid fe­male ath­lete at around US$1 mil­lion. Fraser-Pryce’s deal, which ex­pires soon, falls be­low that fig­ure but is ex­pected to be re­newed and im­proved.

Fraser-Pryce has es­tab­lished her­self as Ja­maica’s flag­bearer in in­ter­na­tional fe­male sprint­ing over the years, hav­ing won six Olympic medals, in­clud­ing two gold, as well as seven World Cham­pi­onships gold and two sil­ver medals.

She has spent her en­tire pro­fes­sional ca­reer wear­ing Nike’s swoosh and has taken ev­ery stride un­der the guid­ance of Fran­cis, but the two seemed to be head­ing in sep­a­rate di­rec­tions af­ter word broke dur­ing the Rio Olympic Games that she had de­cided to end her as­so­ci­a­tion with Fran­cis and MVP.

The sprinter has been train­ing with Wal­cott in St El­iz­a­beth ahead of the com­ing sea­son, and had, ac­cord­ing to our in­for­ma­tion, al­ready se­cured a prop­erty in the parish.

Her move seemed to have trig­gered a mini-ex­o­dus to Santa Cruz, with Kaliese Spencer and Chris­tine Day cut­ting their ties with Bert Cameron’s Cameron Blaz­ers and also mak­ing the move to the South Coast.

With other MVP ath­letes – in­clud­ing one promis­ing male sprinter – also said to be con­sid­er­ing a sim­i­lar move, it is be­lieved that Fran­cis, who ear­lier seemed re­signed to los­ing his most dec­o­rated ath­lete, ex­pressed a new po­si­tion on the mat­ter.

Pres­i­dent of the MVP Track and Field Club Bruce James, when con­tacted yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, stated that he did not wish to speak on the sprinter’s train­ing ar­range­ments at this point.

“I am not com­ment­ing on Shelly-Ann’s train­ing ar­range­ments at this time,” said James.

Fraser-Pryce ended a trou­bled 2016 sea­son, where she bat­tled with a se­ri­ous toe in­jury and gained a bronze medal in the 100m at the Rio Olympic Games. She also helped Ja­maica to a sil­ver medal in the 4x100m.


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